Harley Davidson Case Study

1975 Words Nov 8th, 2010 8 Pages
Harley Davidson was founded in Milwaukie, Wisconsin in 1903, and has been manufacturing motorcycles continuously since conception (Harley Davidson DVD, 2008). The company is now one of the world’s largest motorcycle manufacturers and controls 26% of all motorcycle sales in the USA, and a massive 50% of the heavyweight segment (Armstrong & Kotler, p129). The Harley Davidson name is an incredibly strong brand in the world today. Not many people in western culture could hear the name Harley Davidson and not conjure up thoughts of the powerful, throaty sounding machines carrying their riders across the country. One rider describes the feeling of freedom a Harley Davidson motorcycle inspires as having “the road to yourself” (Harley Davidson …show more content…
In addition, these events provide the organisation a unique forum to further promote their brand to this fiercely loyal group. It is these members that provide the strongest and most cost effective selling opportunity for the Harley Davidson product lines. Essentially, these are the right customers!

With such strengths as the larger-than-life brand and associated brand equity, and the army of staunchly loyal customers, it is hard to believe that this organisation would have any weaknesses. However, past performance has shown that the state of the economy (either regional or global) is one of the key threats to the ongoing profitability of the organisation. Recently, on the back of the global financial crisis, global sales of Harley Davidson products have fallen by over 40%, with a 10% drop in sales across Australia (Solomons, 2010).

With this in mind, how can a company such as Harley Davidson cushion itself against the lows in the economic environment and increase profitability across the board? Since the creation of HOG in 1983, Harley Davidson has already dramatically increased the width of its product mix (Armstrong and Kotler 2010, p210), through the release of a range of new products in a variety of different product classes. These products include apparel items such as jackets, hats and gloves, through to a range of services including roadside assistance and insurance. This has enabled Harley Davidson to capture a

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